It is time for her to leave. Her flight back to the frigid Midwest is in a few hours. I feel that familiar ache in my heart.
When she left for college in September it was her father who cried. Right there in the freshman dorm room. I had done most of my crying over the summer. I cried in anticipation.
Her father and I vowed we would start doing some living now that we were alone. But that first week we ate dinner in front of the television. Jeopardy was on. I told him that this was acceptable behavior for only a few days. Or maybe when we are very, very old.
We are learning how to live together alone again. We have eighteen years of catching up. Being Julia's parents was our favorite gig*.
Everything is just a little bit duller here when she is gone. We seem to move as if in slow motion. We are learning lessons.
I am a slow learner.
* gig: A job that is temporary or with an uncertain future.